The Seven Summits

The rough guide to the highest mountain on every continent:

Pancak Jaya – 4884m*

This mountain is the highest in Australia/Pacific (depending on how one counts the continents it could be replaced by Kosciuszko at 2228m, which is located on Australia itself). In might come as a surprise to some that even though this mountain is in tropical Indonesia it’s peak is covered in snow!

Mount Vinson – 4892m

And it will come as no surprise whatsoever to anyone that the highest mountain in Antarctic is covered in snow. One of the technically easier Seven Summits—in fact one can simply walk to the top—it’s so remote that it wasn’t even discovered until 1958 and wasn’t climbed until 1966. As further testament its isolation it’s worth noting that the first ascent from the east route didn’t occur until as recently as 2001. Its remoteness makes it the least climbed of the Seven Summits and to date fewer than 1500 people have tried.

Elbrus – 5642m*

Another disputed peak. This is possibly the highest peak in Europe but being located in Southern Russia near the Georgian border it is sometimes not considered to be part of Europe, though most geologists would disagree (the other possibility for Europe’s highest is Mount Blanc in France at 4809m). The name for Elbrus comes from the Persian word meaning high, or possibly guard depending on which etymology one believes.

Kilimanjaro – 5895m

This mountain in Tanzania is the highest in Africa and with Hemingway’s famous novella The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Toto’s song Kilimanjaro, and of course the mountains’ own iconic beauty, it needs no introduction. But if you’re going to see the glaciers, you will want to go quickly because, sadly, they are estimated to have melted by 2020.

Denali – 6194m

In 1896, the highest mountain in the newly acquired US territory of Alaska was named by a gold prospector after the man who was to become president the following year. It was renamed, or rather the original name given to the mountain by the Koyukon Athabaskans natives, to Denali, meaning ‘high one’. In isolation (in topography terms this is the area of a mountain), it’s the third largest after the last two mountains on this list.

Aconcagua – 6961m

Straddling the border between Argentina and Chile this South America peak is the highest mountain outside of Asia. Despite its massive size and very really dangers that climbing it presents, including High Altitude Sickness, it’s technically quite easy and an experienced hiker in good shape could easily make the summit.

Everest – 8848m

Every school child knows that Everest is the highest mountain in the world. This massive peak dominates the landscape in the already impressive Himalaya, in which nearly all of the worlds 14 peaks over 8000 metres are located. This is no casual climb and people often need several years of training in order to summit it. What people don’t necessarily know is that at some 50000€ for the permit, it’s not only the highest but the most expensive.